Pegasidae: H II A1

Eurypegasus draconis (Linnaeus, 1788)


Egg diameter in µm

Number of oil globules

Diameter of oil globule in µm

Yolk texture

Perivitelline space

Position of oil globule at hatch

Gut length   at eye- pigment stage








46% of NL


Egg: On the rare occasions that this egg was seen, the embryo was well developed, and the embryo and yolk were covered with yellow pigment dots (A), underlaid by black pigment which can be seen on a white background. Incubation is at least 48 hours. The egg is easily confused with H II A2, H II A3 and HIIA3A, and should always be hatched to confirm identification..

Larva: The early larva has a pointed “snout”, which is a forward extension of the dorsal finfold (B). The unpigmented head and eyes can be seen imbedded within this, above the yolk (B). The yellow pigment on the finfold edge in the tail, coalesces into two blotches (D & E). B: NH, C: 1 day, D: 3 days, E: 4 days (24°C).

One larva, hatched from an egg taken in the Durban Harbour mouth, has been sequenced, and matches an adult sequence of Eurypegasus draconis in BOLD. The larva shown in D was hatched from an egg collected off Park Rynie in January 2005. None have been seen since then.

DB graph

At Park Rynie, this egg was only seen three times, in early to midsummer (blue graph). It was also seen three times in the DHM samples, matching the offshore sightings (green graph).